Rob Stansfield

Philomorph with a sense of adventure and lots of curiosity

About Me

Always was interested in getting away, getting outdoors, hiking (“rambling”), with school, boy scouts, with friends, and family, and by myself, in the Peak District, the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland…

Also kaftans, church-warden pipes, and the greatest group of school friends ever, I mean ever. Still meet them, still love them, half a century on. And the music, always and forever music. Nonstop music.

Rob in Glen Coe Scotland circa 1971
Glen Coe, Scotland in 1969. The (eternally) angry young man.

Camping and tramping and put-them-together backpacking. An emerald kayak on the River Goyt, an inflatable canoe on the Macclesfield canal from Poynton to nowhere, then rock climbing in the Pennines, in North Wales, in Bristol and eventually in the French Alps (les préalpes du Sud) and even in the Himalayas (once, in 1983). When in France, ski. Ski de piste, ski de fond, then ski randonnée.

And geometry, because geometry rules. “Mathematical Models” by Cundy & Rollett for my school prize in 1968. Heart palpitations at finding a multi-volume edition of Euclid’s Elements in 1971. (Heart palpitations too before setting off to walk the Pennine Way by myself in 1975). Finding crystallography in 1974 in the pre-dawn of computer graphics, culminating in a Ph.D in 1979. Post-doc-ing on (apo)ferritin, still my favorite molecule. Roller skating inside the experimental nuclear reactor as a “physicien” in the diffraction group at the Institut Laue Langevin.

Those were the days, my friend. Halcyon days.

Somehow, everywhere, the Little Loves grew up and became awesome. Big Love always was.

Followed by Big Love in the ’80’s, Little Loves (three) in the ’80’s and ’90’s and science and computing and to France and to Scotland, back to France and then to the USA in 1995, especially the South West, “the southwestern deserts” with hot winds and petrichor after the rain. “I love the smell of petrichor in the morning”. More hiking, camping, mountain biking and mountain bike racing. Hot damn, that was good.

After crystallography and out of disappointments at work, a rediscovery of Buckminster Fuller and a mad flurry of geodesic creativity from 2006 to oh, I don’t know, say, well, um, about 2012? Bridges conferences, a design studio, a dome workshop in 2008 – these things moved me enough to make me cry. I found my people, they touched my spirit and gave me my creative life back.

And later, motorcycling. Another community, communities. On road, off road, up hill and down dale – but mostly in the dry, dusty, rocky, spiny, spiky desert. A V-Strom in 2010 in the East upgraded to a BMW GS in 2013 for the West. Spills and thrills into my sixties. And later still, a week over 10,000 feet cresting the Wind Rivers in 2015, and the High Sierras still to come. High times and glory days.

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